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Maddison: De Gea showed me the step up needed

4 Jun 2019

Leicester City midfielder enjoyed dream debut Premier League season but only after a tough first match

The 2018/19 season has been a dream for James Maddison, but only after a tough start.

Signed in the summer by Leicester City, the midfielder made his Premier League debut at Old Trafford on the opening day of the season. 

Maddison impressed, but ultimately left Manchester frustrated on the night. 

David De Gea pulled off a spectacular 29th-minute save to deny him a goal as Manchester United beat Leicester 2-1.

"It was crazy," Maddison told Tom Grennan, the singer, who presented him with his Debut Ball shortly after that match. "I've dreamed of playing in the Premier League since I was a young boy.

"To do it at Man Utd – there is no bigger stage than Old Trafford – is a great feeling, one I won't forget."

Tough test

The De Gea save showed Maddison the level of play that was required of him in the Premier League.

"I had a good touch, I hit it hard, the shot was towards the corner," the former Coventry City and Norwich City player said. "I thought when I hit it, 'I've scored here.' But he [De Gea] managed to spring and get a hand to it.

"I couldn't believe it at the time but that is the step-up we talked about."

And step up, he did. Maddison scored seven goals and provided as many assists in 36 Premier League appearances in 2018/19, earning a call-up to the England squad by Gareth Southgate in October 2018. 

And the 22-year-old will hope to continue his Premier League form for England in the Under-21 European Championships, in Italy and San Marino, starting from 16 June. 

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